North-Based Igbos Declare Support For Buhari
KEY leaders of Igbo General Assembly resident in the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday declared their support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in the presidential scheduled to hold next Saturday.
President General of the Assembly, Chief Sam Demian Enyama, who led a delegation of the Igbo leaders to the headquarters of the Buhari Campaign Organisation in Abuja, noted that he is better placed to lead the country due to his impeccable character and integrity.
He urged the people of the Southeast to downplay religious and tribal sentiments and vote for Buhari, saying his presidency would address the pressing needs of all the regions.
The Eze’udo of the 19 northern states, Chief Uche Egenti, who spoke in the same vein, said it was unfortunate that Buhari is one of the misunderstood Nigerian aspiring to lead the country.
He noted: “We are here to support your aspiration to become the President of this country. We know you; it is easier to work with you because of what you stand for.
“We are not ready to be plunge into another civil and we are pleading with you to help us organise Nigeria again. We want discipline to reign again.
“We want to plead with you to help galvanise Nigeria once more. Let the discipline reign again in Nigeria; let the polity be sensitised. A lot of people have complained that the issue about you is religion but we know you are not a religious bigot.”
Buhari, in his response, expressed gratitude to the group of Igbo leaders, promising to ensure a harmonious relationship among all the ethnic nationalities in the country, as well as offer good leadership, if elected into power.
He noted that he has always had a sound working relationship with Nigerians of Southeast extraction.
To the government, he said: “Let the government respect Nigerians and individuals and let them to choose and elect those they want to lead them. If that is done, Nigerians will be surprised about how peaceful this country will be.
“I think that in every human being there is an element of rebellion. If you try to force a human being to do something he doesn’t like, he will develop a way of resisting it. But if you develop a system and persuade him to accept the system, then justice must be done and you will be surprise how peaceful you will live. But if you try to force it, I am afraid that you will keep on suffering.
“Look at what we have suffered in the last 16 years. Most of you are business people and always out there. You import and know the exchange rate and know where were we 16 years ago when PDP took over this country and where are we now. How much was the naira to the dollar then and how much is it now?
“There are states now that haven’t paid salaries for months. Corrupt PDP governors cannot even pay salaries. I don’t think you can support this type of government anymore.”
Buhari added: “The question of patriotism is a very serious issue. The damage has been done, you are in a position under the system to make a difference and I am appealing to you to make sure that this difference is made. We are not doing anybody any favour; we are doing a favour to ourselves, because we have no other country than Nigeria.”